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tv   Late Night With Seth Meyers  NBC  October 29, 2015 12:37am-1:38am PDT

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[ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers." tonight -- mike piazza, comedian steven wright,]e author lauren groff, featuring the 8g band with arcade fire's jeremy gara. ♪ [ cheers and applause ] ladies and gentlemen, seth meyers! [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: good evening. i'm seth meyers. this is "late night." how's everybody doing tonight? [ cheers and applause ] good to hear. in that case, let's get to the news. the third republican debate took place tonight at the university of colorado at boulder, which explains why the first question was, "have you ever, like,
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really --" [ laughter ] " -- like, looked at your hands?" [ light laughter ] take as much time as you need. after falling behind dr. ben carson in polls, donald trump said yesterday, "i don't like being second. second is terrible to me." "hey, believe me, third is even worse," said melania. [ laughter ] "because, for the first, the body is still young. and then he gets older for second, older still for third. he sags more." [ light laughter ] "the balls." donald trump said yesterday to supporters, "if i lose iowa, i will never speak to you people again." he added, "but if i win, i will never speak to you people again." [ laughter ] last night the world series game didn't end until nearly 1:30 in the morning for east coast viewers. isn't that crazy? usually when new yorkers are disappointed at 1:30 in the
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morning, it's by me. [ laughter ] "he's on tv again! he's on every night! but why?" incoming speaker of the house, paul ryan, asked today to be officially referred to as paul d. ryan, or if it's easier, paulie d. [ laughter ] [ applause ] presidential candidate lindsey graham said yesterday that there is a side of hillary clinton that's a lot of fun. oh, yeah. oh, i think i can see it. it's on the right side. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] did somebody say fun? the department of education today announced that the math skills of american students have dropped for the first time since 1990. or as american students think of it, 11 years ago. [ laughter ] walgreen's announced a deal yesterday to buy rival drugstore chain rite-aid in a deal worth
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over $17 billion. which is horrible news for people currently holding two separate xanax prescriptions. [ light laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] fashion designer marc jacobs said he is quitting the dating app grindr, after someone on the site leaked news to the new york post that he hosted a 10-person orgy this weekend. though it sounds like jacobs isn't quitting grindr so much as he's just completed grindr. [ laughter ] he won grindr. [ laughter ] a group in england attempted to break a world record this past weekend for most people riding a roller coaster while naked. news the next riders would love to have heard before they sat down. [ laughter ] "you did what here? when? the last group?" the new york giants have agreed to a new one-year contract with
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defensive end jason pierre-paul after he mangled his hand during a fireworks accident over the summer. nfl insiders say his deal is worth at least $5 million. [ laughter ] [ applause ] they're all here somewhere. they're all here. it's just a special effect. [ laughter ] the ride-sharing app uber is offering a promotion tomorrow where new york users can pay $30 to have a kitten brought to them for 15 minutes. it's great if you love kittens and terrible if you are a kitten. [ laughter ] and finally, a georgia man this week was arrested after shattering the glass door of a waffle house when he was charged 50 cents more than he expected for a sausage biscuit. [ laughter ] of course, drugs are suspected since he had the strength to break a window after eating at a waffle house. [ laughter ] ladies and gentlemen, we have a great show for you tonight! [ cheers and applause ] former mlb all-star and new york
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met, an all-time great catcher, mike piazza is here tonight. [ cheers and applause ] also, one of my favorite comedians ever, steven wright, joins us on the show this evening. [ cheers and applause ] and author lauren groff, whose latest novel, "fates and furies" is excellent. i loved it, and i can't wait to talk to her about that. but before we get to all of our wonderful guests tonight, today republicans officially nominated congressman paul ryan of wisconsin as their choice to be the next speaker of the house. and tomorrow the entire house is expected to approve ryan's candidacy. with more on this, it's time for "a closer look." ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: with today's vote, the 45-year-old wisconsin congressman moved a step closer to becoming the second most powerful man in washington, and third in line for the presidency. it's probably safe to say that being speaker is a lifelong dream of ryan's. >> congressman paul ryan has said
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repeatedly that he does not want to run for speaker. >> this is not a job he's ever wanted. >> he could not be more clear that he doesn't want it. >> he doesn't want the job. >> this is not a job i've ever wanted. [ laughter ] >> paul ryan should be speaker of the house. >> he doesn't want it. >> he doesn't want it? so what? >> he's being recruited today. >> you make him do it. you make him do it. [ laughter ] >> that's bill o'reilly talking about paul ryan the way a mob boss yells into the phone. "oh, he doesn't want to do it? how 'bout we break his fingers." [ laughter ] but it's true, ryan did not want the job, because the job is terrible. not only do you have to negotiate with democrats and republicans, but you also have to act like you're paying attention during the entire state of the union. [ laughter ] now, ryan may not have wanted the job, but his tenure has actually started very smoothly, thanks to outgoing speaker john boehner, who did him a solid by reaching a compromise with president obama to fund the government for the next two years. so ryan won't have to start with a drawn-out fight over taxes and spending. boehner explained his decision to help ryan out at a press
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conference yesterday. >> i made it clear a month ago when i announced that i was leaving, that i wanted to do my best to clean the barn. i didn't want him to walk into a dirty barn full of you-know-what. [ laughter ] >> seth: look, you can pass all the budget deals you want, boehner, congress is always going to be full of [ bleep ]. you know that. we all know that. [ cheers and applause ] till you get rid of the horses, there's gonna be [ bleep ] there. also, that is one barn that is never going to host a charming, rustic wedding. [ laughter ] now, you'd think paul ryan would be grateful for this gift from boehner, but instead ryan reacted to the deal this way. >> i think this process stinks. >> seth: you think it stinks, but i just cleaned out the barn! [ laughter ] now before you think boehner's feelings were hurt by this, they weren't. and not just because after five years as speaker, the part of john boehner that feels has been ground down to a fine powder. boehner was okay with ryan's comment, because ryan's opposition to the deal is just for show. ryan had to pretend to bash the
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budget, because he has to appeal to a small but vocal group of far-right republicans called the house freedom caucus. freedom caucus, of course, named after the harry potter spell that makes your underwear disappear. [ laughter ] "freedomus caucususes!" the freedom caucus are the ones who essentially pushed boehner out, and they're a very secretive group. for example, they won't even reveal who is in the caucus or how many members there are. one congressman, republican scott perry, was asked to confirm or deny the members of the freedom caucus, and he acted super shady about it. >> why can't you confirm, deny -- >> well, let me put it to you this way. i won't. i won't. >> do you -- do you think the sort of excessive secrecy is a healthy thing about the caucus? >> there's no excessive secrecy. >> there is no list of who is in it. you guys won't even say how many people are in it. >> it's nobody's business but our own. [ laughter ] >> seth: so secretive. are you sure you're not the house pretty little liars caucus? [ laughter ] ryan didn't want to fall victim
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to the freedom caucus in the same way that boehner did, so he only agreed to the job after making a series of demands. >> mr. ryan very shrewdly made some demands. >> he's got a list of demands. >> paul ryan has three demands. >> this bold list of demands. >> seth: that's the way reporters in gotham talked after bane blew up the football stadium. [ laughter ] so the demands worked. ryan got the job, but it's important to remember that despite the media hype, ryan has not always been the best when it comes to actually legislating. in 2012, for example, he proposed a budget with almost $10 trillion in tax cuts without saying how he'd pay for it. one non-partisan group called the lack of specifics "paul ryan's mystery meat budget." paul ryan's mystery meat, of course, is beefcake. [ laughter ] he actually posed for that photo. and if you don't believe me, here's another one. [ laughter ] well, paul ryan, i'll say this. you're going to need arms like that to shovel all the [ bleep ] out of the barn. this has been "a closer look." ♪ [ cheers and applause ]
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to "late night" everybody. give it up for the 8g band! [ cheers and applause ]
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also, back with us tonight on drums, from arcade fire, jeremy gara. thank you so much for being with us, jeremy. [ cheers and applause ] now, quick question -- have you ever notice that when you google something, there are millions of results? usually you only look at the first page or two, but i started to wonder about those last few pages where the internet becomes weirder. [ laughter ] lonelier. so allow me to take you into the bowels of the internet with a segment we call "deep google." [ thunder ] [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> seth: there's a chill in the air. the nfl season is in full swing. so i thought this would be the perfect time to see what kind of curious nuggets turn up when we search the deep recesses of google for the great american sport of football. so, here's the first page results for football, pretty much what you'd expect. scores, schedules for nfl games, the wikipedia entry, but look down at the bottom at all those os in google. that means we can go deeper.
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deeper into deep google! [ thunder ] [ light laughter ] let's check out what's on page nine. 2015 fantasy fantasy football draft guide. so that's interesting. i know fantasy football, but i don't know that. the very best draft choices for your 2015 fantasy fantasy football team. i guess i'm unfamiliar so let's see who they have here. draxiel the untamed. [ laughter ] wide receiver for the sky garden seraphin. his six wings and four arms make him a serious downfield threat. all right, who's next? omnihead, running back for the omnigalaxy omnihead. this telepathic floating head has consistently been able to get into minds of imposing defenses and make their brains explode out of their ears. [ light laughter ] who's next? peyton manatour, quarterback for the universe d denver broncos. this half-bull half-man future hall of famer terrorizes defenses with his razor sharp horns, giant forehead and distressing odor of papa john's pizza.
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[ laughter ] folks, that was only page nine. so that means we can still go deeper, deeper into deep google. [ thunder ] [ laughter ] let's check out page 75 of the search results. vince lombardi's worst pep talk. [ light laughter ] gotta check that out. vince lombardi was, of course, known for his legendary, inspiring locker room speeches. but here's the worst speech he ever gave. let's hear it. >> gentlemen, winning isn't everything. it's the only thing. but sometimes you get into an argument with your wife, and technically you do win, but you still lose. [ light laughter ] but listen, being a champion isn't about how many times you fall down. >> no, it's not. >> it's about keeping your opinions about your wife's sister diane to yourself, even if she is a true sadist, whose only joy in life is the suffering of those closest to her. >> what? >> so, when you get out on that field today, know in your hearts
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that you're a winner. and that you're a champion! and despite what's in your mind and every fiber of your being tells you, it's a pleasure to have diane staying with us, okay? kill diane on three! one, two, three, kill diane! [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> seth: folks, folks, that was only page 75. which means we can still keep on diving into the untouched, gooey, nether regions of deep google. [ thunder ] [ laughter ] page 210. good calls for life, the dating site for nfl referees and the women who want them. all right, i've got to check this out. let's see these refs. abe, age 42, likes hunting, fishing, foreign films. dislikes unsportsmanlike conduct. no, thank you. swipe left. jeff, age 38, looking to make some illegal contacts.
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[ laughter ] definitely swipe left. gareth, age ain't nothing but a number. that's kind of cute. respect is key, i won't go out of bounds. like that. i'm just looking for some holding. all right, you know what? let's give him a shot. swipe right. oh, it's a match. oh and look at that, he's already messaged me. let's see what he says. oh, come on! [ laughter ] not cool, gareth! plus you had that picture ready. that's disgusting. folks, let's cut to the chase and dive to the very bottom of the nightmare carnival that is deep google. [ thunder ] [ laughter and applause ] page 860, the very last page. thiskidsnotseven.com. okay, i wonder what that is. exposing the truth behind wilmington peewee football. let's enter this. okay, this is the wilmington,
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delaware 7-year-old peewee football team. notice anything out of place? jordy washington league mvp is clearly not a 7-year-old kid. well, i guess that one kid looks pretty big, but you know, children do grow at different rates. okay, hold on, it looks like there is a video here. let's take a look. ♪ [ laughter ] [ whistle blows ] [ audience oohs ] [ laughter ] ♪ [ whistle blows ] >> seth: based on that last video, it seems like age is less the issue. it's more a fundamental understanding of how football works. [ laughter ] this has been "deep google"! we'll be right back with mike piazza! [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back, everybody. our first guest tonight is a former major league baseball
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rookie of the year, a 12-time all star, and member of the new york mets hall of fame. please welcome to the show, mike piazza! ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: i'm so happy to have you here. >> it's great to be here, man. [ cheers ] >> seth: always a delight to have you back in new york. >> great to be back in the city. >> seth: it must be exciting watching this world series right now. obviously, a thrilling first game. 14 innings. your mets lose by one run. >> it's driving me crazy. >> seth: yeah, it must be tough. >> you know, i've become the quintessential new york sports fan. i'm watching the game. and i'm like, "oh, what are you swinging at?" [ light laughter ] my wife was sleeping and she's like, "you never made an out in your life, did you?" i'm go, "no, i never swung at that." so -- >> seth: that's good! that makes me very happy to hear that you can leave sports and become completely irrational almost immediately. that's fantastic.
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yeah. i would have thought you would have saved the perspective being in -- >> no, you think i'd be cool, and it's like, you know. and i'm like, "what are you doing?" [ light laughter ] >> seth: so as a catcher, do you have a better understanding of the pitching in the series, and how do you think the pitching measures up for the mets? >> i think the mets' pitching is unbelievable. it's been discussed many times, that's their strong point. you know, we got to get the bats going a little bit. get some runs for these guys. but no, i think it's the best collection of young arms i've seen in a long time. these guys throw -- i was watching degrom the other night and he was throwing mid-90s in the 7th, 8th inning. so, it's awesome to see. it's going to be their strong point. >> seth: now daniel murphy has hit five home runs in this postseason. tied your mets postseason record for five home runs. you did it in way more games. i don't want to point that out. [ laughter ] you did it in like four times as many games. >> thanks >> seth: is it nice -- when someone ties your record, is it a bummer that it's tied, or is it nice that they talk about --
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because then they mention that you also had the record beforehand? >> in completely respect to yogi, i always knew my record would stand until it was broken. [ laughter ] >> seth: there you go. it was one of those records. >> no, it's flattering. i mean, it's -- no, you pull for the guy, because you're like, hey, you know -- especially being retired now like seven years, anytime they bring you up, and i was like, "man, i did that?" you're right, it's crazy. >> seth: we talked about the pitching. i want to ask, as a catcher, going out to the pitcher's mound, talking to the pitcher, those are the conversations i most wish i could hear. when it's going bad for a pitcher, what are you saying as a catcher at that point? >> it's true. one time, i went out, al leiter -- who's a great guy, i love catching him -- was getting hit around a little bit. so, i walked out, and i'm like, you know. he says to me, "what am i doing? what am i doing? am i not good? i go, "you just suck." [ laughter ] sometimes you just suck, you know? and i couldn't put anything on it. you suck today. that meeting was -- it's hard, but it's kind of like a father
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disciplining his child. >> seth: right. that sucks, anyway, i'm going to head back. best of luck with the rest of it. >> yeah, no. it's true. >> seth: and then, you obviously have a great vantage point to talk with hitters over the course of the game. you see the hitters more than any other person on the team. do you -- is there trash talk involved there? do you ever talk to -- would you ever talk to them? >> i wasn't a huge chatterbox myself. because i liked to hit. joe girardi, who manages the yanks, he was a chatterbox. >> seth: got it. >> so i used to have to step out and go, "joe, can you put a sock in it? for the love of god, i'm trying to work here." >> seth: would he chatter to you? would he be talking to you? >> yeah. you know, it's like if it was a 2-2 pitch it was on the corner, and then he would talk to the umpire. "gotta have that. gotta have that, joe." i'm like, "no, we don't have to have that. we don't." [ laughter ] so, yeah, i mean, he was fun. >> seth: you mentioned talking to the umpires. is that something -- do you try to, over the course of the game, curry favor with an umpire when he comes out? do you say, "you look great today." >> curry favor -- you know when they've had curry? >> seth: that's interesting. you were very close to the smells of the umpire.
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>> you could tell if they ate italian or indian or curry. [ laughter ] so then, one time -- an italian-american umpire friend of mine, i went into the dugout. i came back with some tums. i'm like, "dude, please, can you take these? it's getting a little wispy back here." >> seth: being a low crouch when a man has had a big, heavy italian meal does not sound like the field of dreams. >> makes for a long game. [ laughter ] >> seth: so, actually, you mentioned -- obviously you're an italian-american as well. after you retired, you went and you coached the italian baseball team, the national team. >> italian national team, yeah. it was an amazing experience. >> seth: how was it different? how is baseball different in italy? >> well, for one thing, when the manager argues with the umpire, the whole crowd knows what they're saying, because they do it with their hands. [ laughter ] the manager will come out and be like -- [ laughter ] the ump, he'd be like -- then he'll be like -- [ light laughter ]
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and then he'd tell him to get out of there. >> seth: fantastic. so, you're out. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> seth: i would imagine an italian third base coach must be more hands than i've ever seen. it must be just a blur of different signals. >> it was a lot of fun. as a matter of fact, it was funny last july i took my family to italy for a month. i was on a flight for nine hours with a 2-year-old. i'm sorry if you were on my flight, by the way. but talking about mets fans, how amazing they are. i was in flight -- fly to sicily, having lunch with my wife, linguini and seafood, and this guy comes to me, "yo mikey, what are you doing in sicily?" i'm like, "i'm on vacation." "big mets fan buddy." so -- [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: that's the best. what are you doing? >> what are you doing? i'm in sicily. i'm on vacation. we're having linguini and clams. do you mind? [ light laughter ] like, you take a picture. so it was fun. a lot of mets fans, man. they're like my family. >> seth: there are some interesting hairstyles in this world series. we've got one right here.
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this is the kind of hair -- there's a chance -- do you think there is a chance years later he'll regret this haircut? i guess what i'm asking is, do you regret this haircut? do you regret this hair? [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: you look like the bad guy in every '80s movie. [ laughter ] you look like a guy right before jean-claude van damme kicks your head off. [ light laughter ] >> you know what's funny? i did that, and i'm sure the ladies would attest to how painful that is, actually putting bleach on your head. it was a slump buster. >> seth: oh, yeah, really? >> and after that i actually got pretty hot. >> seth: so it works. >> i don't know if i would do it again, but it worked. >> seth: but it was superstition. >> we're ridiculously superstitious. it's unbelievable. >> seth: you also -- you were rookie of the year, as i mentioned. and this is, this is the rookie card. it's so exciting to get your rookie card when you're rookie of the year, but i want you to explain everything about this. [ laughter ]
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[ cheers and applause ] this looks like -- it's like the rookie card for gold gym. >> this is like the cheesiest thing i've ever seen. >> seth: that's the cheesiest thing. >> did i do that? >> seth: you did that. i like that you went to take your picture and you thought, "you know what? i won't wear my mets stuff." or i guess dodgers stuff, then. >> you know what really is terrible, this is way before social media, twitter, the internet. i couldn't even escape this. you know they say, be careful what you do, right? it will come back to haunt you. >> seth: right, exactly. now this is forever. >> oh, good lord. >> seth: very exciting, you're throwing out the first pitch game three? >> yeah. >> seth: that's very exciting. >> friday night. >> seth: exciting. [ cheers and applause ] i would worry about you on the subway, but you found a way around the subway getting to the stadium. how are you getting there? >> i'm doing this thing with jim breuer with delta airlines. we're taking a boat from the east side of manhattan to citi field with 70 fans. so if you log on and follow delta on twitter -- you have to have a ticket to the game. so don't get on the boat and go, "hey, mikey, you got a ticket?"
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[ laughter ] so, if you have a ticket to the game and you want to ride with me and jim on the boat, it will be a lot of fun, and we'll get fired up for friday night here at citi field. >> seth: all right. and hopefully it'll be 1-1 at that point. [ cheers and applause ] >> let's do it. >> seth: thank you so much for being here. >> my pleasure, man. >> seth: mike piazza, everybody! game three of the world series airs friday night on fox. we'll be right back with steven wright. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ the most advanced iphone yet. get the new iphone 6s at t-mobile. the network that's doubled its lte coverage in the past year. our new extended range lte signal now reaches twice as far as before. and is four times better in buildings. get our lowest price on iphone 6s with trade-in. zero upfront and just 5 bucks a month with jump on demand. get it now at t-mobile.
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: our next guest tonight is a grammy-nominated and academy award-winning actor,
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comedian, and filmmaker. he is currently performing stand-up around the united states and canada. please welcome the great steven wright! [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> seth: welcome to the show. >> thank you for having me. >> seth: i'm honored to have you here. i'm very excited about this. >> thank you so much. >> seth: we just had mike piazza on. >> oh, yeah. >> seth: we are both baseball fans. and last time i saw you -- we're both red sox fans, and i mentioned that the red sox have pitcher, a knuckle ball pitcher named steven wright. >> yes, this is true. >> seth: it got me to thinking, did the comedian steven wright ever want to be a baseball player? >> i played little league, you know. i played second base. i was very small as a child. i played second base. i asked the manager if i could pitch, and he said, "no." i said, "why?" he said, "because you're too little."
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and i said, "i'm too little for little league." [ laughter ] >> seth: that's a tough thing for a kid to hear. >> he said only tall guys can pitch. so, i just started throwing baseballs at him, you know? and he's running down the street and i'm hitting him wherever i want. [ laughter ] show him my accuracy. i mean, i could hit a bird if i wanted to. >> seth: really? >> but because i was very short, i had no career in that. [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah. i remember the scouting report said "could hit a bird whenever it wants, too short." as a red sox fan, are you finding anything to watch in this mets-royals world series? >> i watched two nights ago. it was incredible, you know? the inside-the-park home run. the mets and the red sox, you know, in '86. i don't know if you remember in '86. i watched with my girlfriend who was from chicago. and then the 6th game, you know, the big game. >> seth: sure. >> and it gets to be like the 7th inning and she congratulates me. "oh, thank you very much." then they lose the game. then they lose the world series.
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so, i broke up with her. [ laughter ] >> seth: oh, you did? >> i figured if she could jinx the world series, what else could she jinx? [ laughter ] so every year i call her -- she lives in chicago -- and i congratulate her on the cubs winning the world series. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: that's a nice payback. >> did you play little league? >> seth: i played little league. i was not good at it. i was not good. i think they call it the yips. i was very good at fielding a ball. and then i would see first base, and then i would just chuck it into the stands. [ laughter ] i was just really -- i had terrible -- i couldn't focus. but i loved playing. i loved the camaraderie. [ light laughter ] the playing around with the lads. [ laughter ] my fellow lads. now, i have an important question for you. you're still out. you're still on the road doing shows, but you also -- you work on louis's show. you work on with louis c.k. on his television show. how did that come about?
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>> well, i'm became friends with louis and then one day he said, "i'd like you to think about something." and i said, "well, can it be anything?" [ laughter ] then he asked me to work on his show and i was like, "that would be amazing." i mean, he's brilliant, he's absolutely brilliant. he writes the show, he directs it, he edits it, he acts in it. his stand-up is amazing. i'm in awe of his mind. i mean, i'm just blown away by him. it's been one of the great experiences, creatively for me to be working with him. >> seth: now, you're a co-producer on the show. what exactly do you do? >> i don't really know what i do. [ laughter ] i kind of just wander around and i'll say, "hey, how are you?" [ laughter ] no, i discuss the elements with him. the stories, and go to the shooting, and discuss the editing and stuff. i'm like a sounding board for him. >> seth: that's fantastic. >> yeah. >> seth: now, you're both from massachusetts, you and louis? is that how you first knew each other, from that scene?
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>> no, we met in new york. >> seth: okay, but you still live in massachusetts? >> yes, i live in massachusetts now. now meaning in the present. [ laughter ] i was born in cambridge, massachusetts. about 15 years ago -- i mean, i wasn't born 15 years ago. [ laughter ] >> seth: certainly. >> i went to the hospital i was born in, the mt. auburn hospital in cambridge. i went in and i went in to the front desk. "yes, can i help you?" i said, "yes, i'd like to go in the room i was born in." "oh, well, see that woman down there. she's in charge of the history of the hospital." so i went down. "when were you born?" "1955." oh, she brings me to this building. we go up to the fourth floor. "in those rooms, you were born probably in that room right there." and i said, "well, can i go in the room?" she said, "no, because now it's an operating room." and i said, "yeah, but i won't bother anyone." [ laughter ] but she wouldn't let me go in, of course.
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but if i had gone in, i was going to call my mother from that room and ask her if she remembered where we met. [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: now, you have a very unique comedy style, and this is true, you were influenced by salvador dali, the sort of dada style of painting. how did that come about? >> i used to very draw realistically, and when you draw realistically, you notice things you wouldn't normally notice. then the teacher brought us to boston to see surrealism, which blew me away. it was just, like, insane. then years later when i started writing comedy, those influences of seeing things you don't really know and the abstract and the surrealism mixed together in my head, and that's how this material came out. >> seth: when you write a joke, do you have that moment of do you know immediately when you
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come up with one, "oh, this is going to work, this is the perfect joke for me?" >> 100% no. >> seth: okay. if you have to -- >> i have to try it out. if think of it, i write it down, i think it's funny. otherwise, i wouldn't write it down. >> seth: right. >> and i have to try it out in front of the audience. if they like it, i keep it. if they don't, then i don't do it anymore. but if they don't like it, i don't think it wasn't funny, i just think they didn't agree with me. >> seth: right. [ laughter ] >> but they're in charge. >> seth: they are in charge. >> they're the editors of the show. >> seth: i think this is -- mostly this important for people who do want to go into comedy, because you've been doing it for so long. how many jokes do you have to write? like, what is the yield of your writing to jokes that actually then live in your act? >> it's a one in four. for every four i write one is good enough to stay. >> seth: got it. with that, i do think that's important for young people who write comedy. i think they have this expectation that in order to write an hour, you write an hour, but it's four hours -- >> oh, my god. i mean, a joke is five seconds long, including the laugh. [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah.
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you do it more than anyone. i feel like you have that burden on yourself, because you do write very precisely. there is a real engineering to your comedy, so that must make it so daunting. >> well, it is, but that's the only way i did it, so it's normal to me. >> seth: right. >> you know, so maybe i should try to tell a two-hour story. no. >> seth: no. >> i'm just kidding. [ laughter ] see, there was a joke that didn't work. [ laughter ] >> seth: you saved it, though. thank you so much for being here. i'm such a fan. >> thank you. >> seth: i really appreciate it. steven wright, everybody! you can see steven at the collins center for the arts in orono, maine on november 6th and the rialto theater in tucson, arizona on november 13th. for more information about his tour, visit stevenwright.com. we'll be right back with lauren groff. [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back, everybody. our next guest is the best-selling author of both "arcadia" and "the monsters of templeton." her latest novel, "fates and furies", is a finalist for the national book award. it's available in stores now. please welcome to the show, lauren groff. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> seth: i'm so happy you're here. >> i'm so delighted to be here. >> seth: i love this book. >> thank you. >> seth: congratulations so much on being a national book award finalist. was that an exciting thing to find out? >> it was nuts. i actually -- i was in jackson, mississippi. >> seth: uh-huh. >> and i was -- [ scattered applause ] yes. >> seth: there you go. >> the one person -- and i was in my car driving to go back to the airport, and i got pulled over for driving through a stop sign right after i heard.
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>> seth: oh, gotcha. >> yeah, yeah, i was so happy! >> seth: i thought you got pulled over and the cop was like, "roll down the window, you're a finalist for the national book award." [ laughter ] >> yeah, no, that would be even more amazing. >> seth: that's how they do it. they call the local cops and say, "you need to find this woman." >> "you need to find this person and chase her down." >> seth: now, i want to talk about your writing process. this is fascinating to me. is it true that when you first write a first draft, you write it all out by hand? >> multiple drafts, yes. the first few drafts, i just write all the way out by hand, long hand, throw it out, and start over again. >> seth: when you say throw it out, you don't reread it? >> no. i can't reread my handwriting. >> seth: gotcha. it's just this is the writing out the hand, this is the process of what? what are you getting accomplished, then? >> it's like 3-d printing. you do a draft, and then you throw it out, and you do another one. >> seth: so when you're -- since you're not saving it, and you write a second draft, are you just keeping the stuff that you remember? >> yeah, and my memory is terrible. so all the bad stuff just sort of falls out. >> seth: got you. so it has to be good to stick. >> yeah, exactly. >> seth: now, do you know that this is a very strange process? >> it's nuts. >> seth: okay. >> yeah, it's insane. i wouldn't recommend it to anyone. >> seth: okay, well that's nice. that's nice that you wouldn't
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recommend it to anybody. this is -- one of the things that i -- first of all, i want to ask about your background. when did you know you wanted to be a writer, and do you remember the first thing you wrote? >> i always thought that i was a writer, but i didn't -- i wasn't good. but the first thing i wrote was in eighth grade for mrs. lewis in cooperstown, and she loved it. it was a short story about a racehorse who died. >> seth: uh-huh >> and i was so happy that i made her cry that i wanted to write other stories and make other people cry. >> seth: oh, that's, um, haunting. [ laughter ] >> i know. >> seth: so this book is -- what's fascinating about this book is it's about -- well, first of all, it's sort of about a very narcissistic writer. the husband in this book is a playwright. he has a wife, who is mathilde. and you have said he is sort of based on you, this narcissistic writer. >> mm-hmm. >> seth: you're willing to admit this? >> well, sort of. i mean, they're both kind of me in a very scary way. yeah, yeah, yeah. [ laughter ] >> seth: so your husband is married to a writer. >> yes. >> seth: did he find this book
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an accurate portrayal of what it's like to be married to a writer? >> to a narcissistic writer? >> seth: yeah. >> yes. absolutely. >> seth: i feel like i should say, i feel like all writers are narcissistic. i'm sure my wife would say the same thing about me, especially -- i feel like we're impossible while we're writing, and then super narcissistic when we're done. [ laughter ] >> yes, both. yeah, yeah. at the same time, actually. >> seth: it's like, "i'm terrible, i'm terrible, i'm terrible." you finish and you're like, "look at me." [ light laughter ] >> no, but you're still saying, "i'm terrible." you never actually think you're great. >> seth: yeah, that's true. i've had, like, twice, where i'm like, "oh." [ laughter ] >> you're great, seth meyers. >> seth: oh, thank you. you're great. one of the really interesting things about this book is you write the first half of the book is very much the husband's story. >> right. >> seth: and then it shifts wonderfully to the wife's story. and we find out so much more about her than we have from the husband's point of view. was it hard -- were you writing these at the same time? did you have to completely shift the way you were writing when
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you started telling her story? >> so this is even more insane about my writing process. when i was writing this book, i actually put up two huge pieces of butcher paper and i wrote "his story" on one wall and then "her story" on the other. and then, i sort of bounced back and forth, to create almost a stereoscopic story, in a certain way. >> seth: gotcha. >> then i threw it all out and started over again. [ laughter ] >> seth: what is the garbage like in your house? >> it's enormous. >> seth: is it full of books? >> but i recycle. it's good. we're fine. >> seth: people who pick up your trash must be like, "there's either a writer in there, or someone who's like a weird manifesto-writing lunatic." [ laughter ] >> yes, yes. >> seth: so, one of the nice things about this book is there are so many secrets. there are so many things each half of the couple doesn't know about the other. there was no infidelity in this book. >> none. >> seth: was that a choice you made? because i think when people hear about it's a book about marriage. it's a book about the things that can go wrong and go right in marriage. you just jump to cheating. was this a conscious choice to not have that play a role? >> yeah. you know, in a novel, you have to have a source of tension from somewhere.
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in many marriages, not most, infidelity is a huge source of tension, right? or the thought of infidelity or something like that. so, i wanted to steer very clear of that. and i couldn't think of many stories where there is a happy marriage, full of sex, where there is no infidelity. >> seth: yeah. well, that is nice. you mention as well that it's full of sex. i'm glad you said that. >> so much sex. >> seth: there's so much sex in this book. [ laughter ] i don't want to be creepy. it's great, you do a great job. >> oh, thank you! [ laughter ] >> seth: there's some really -- this is a very good book. [ cheers and applause ] there are two times where my wife looked over and said, "what are you reading?" >> you should let her read this book. >> seth: i'm going to let her read this. >> okay, good. >> seth: by the way, you don't know my wife if you think i should let her do anything. [ laughter ] i have decided this book has passed muster. but you had not written -- i did not realize this, because this is the first of your books that i've read. this is the first time you've written sex scenes. >> yes. >> seth: how did that go? was that something that -- was
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it scary to do it for the first time? >> i've written other sex scenes, but they were more like, the hawk comes in and you look away, and then you come back, and they're, like, cuddling. >> seth: oh, got you. so you were writing,pg-13 sex scenes. >> yeah, yeah. it was, like, zoom in and move over and out, yeah. >> seth: this one, you really got into it. >> yeah. >> seth: and it's great. >> thank you. >> seth: i'm more excited to have sex for the first time now than i've ever been in my life. [ laughter ] you made it sound so exciting. >> i don't know what to say to that. thank you. >> seth: congratulations. november 18th, you find out about the national book award. >> yes. >> seth: very exciting. thank you so much for being here. i really loved your book, and it's been an honor to have you here. lauren groff, everybody. "fates and furies" is available in bookstores now. we'll be right back. [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: thanks to mike piazza, steven wright, lauren groff, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] jeremy gara, and of course, the 8g band. stay tuned for carson daly. we'll see you tomorrow! [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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